David von Behren is appointed assistant university organist and choirmaster for Memorial Church, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, effective in August. Von Behren earned his Master of Music degree at the School of Music/Institute of Sacred Music, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, studying organ with Martin Jean and improvisation with Jeffrey Brillhart. He is also a graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Music, Cleveland, Ohio, where he earned his Bachelor of Music degree in organ performance and music theory (double degree), pursuing organ studies with Todd Wilson.
Von Behren served as organ scholar at Trinity Episcopal Church on the Green, New Haven, under the direction of Walden Moore, working with the Trinity Choir of Men and Boys and Choir of Men and Girls. Prior to his appointment at Trinity, he served four years as organ scholar at Plymouth Church UCC, Shaker Heights, Ohio.
Von Behren is the first organist to receive the Cleveland Institute of Music’s Darius Milhaud Award, given each year to a student “who displays qualities of unusual talent and creativity, sensitivity, expressiveness, strong love for and dedication to the musical arts, outstanding musical accomplishment, and evidence of academic excellence.” He also was named one of The Diapason’s 20 Under 30 Class of 2016. The winner of the Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award on National Public Radio’s From the Top, von Behren’s live radio performance has reached over half a million listeners.